It’s taken nearly two years for prodigious jazz progeny Lorraine Feather to oblige us with a follow up to her terrific Fats Waller tribute, New York City Drag. The wait, it turns out, has been well worthwhile. Last time around, Feather shaped superb lyrics to fit 12 Waller classics. With Cafe Society, she does the same on a broader scale, refitting tunes from an even dozen composers-Charlie Barnet, Duke Ellington and Johnny Mandel among them-with sassy new lyrics. Feather’s intent is, it seems, to pay spirited homage to the prebop sophistication of her legendary parents (big band singer Jane and fabled critic Leonard). When, in the title tune, she pines for “those legendary days” and wishes “with all my heart [that] I could be at Cafe Society,” it’s easy to picture her mother at the microphone in some smoky Manhattan den while her father sits ringside.
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